Thursday, July 27, 2006

Movin' out

Due to the massive amount of packing happening this week, time has slipped away and there will be not much to read (other than this) on LLMB this week. Tune in next week for another exciting episode. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Because of our impending move to the Southern part of California, we were forced to get a new phone number. Not that our current phone number is so great. But you always want a memorable phone number. Maybe one that spells something. My phone number two apartments ago was okay. It spelled VAN-VISA. You don't get a lot of choices for numbers when you get new phone service, and VAN-VISA was the best they offered.

Apparently VAN-VISA wasn't that memorable because some of my friends would tell me "Oh dude, I was gonna call you last night because we were at the most awesome party ever! But I thought your number spelled VIS-VISA or something. I couldn't remember what the first part was." Yeah, VAN and VISA don't really connect in the mind too well.

Having a phone number that has a 1 or a 0 in it kind of hinders spelling anything good because there aren't any letters associated with those numbers. Unless you put the 1 or 0 at the end, like if I had a number that spelled LEE-BEE1 or LEE-BEE0. That would be somewhat memorable.

Mr. Steve Magg told me he worked with a guy whose number spelled the most awesome thing ever: CASHBAG. Nobody forgets when your number spells CASHBAG. My new phone number only contains the word SUCK. Great. Go to to find out if your number SUCKs too.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I Can't Drive 55

We've been living out of our car lately. On top of driving up to Washington and down to Los Angeles, we attended a wedding in Kirkwood (South Lake Tahoe) last weekend. To get to Kirkwood, you drive 80 to 580 to 205 to I5 to 4 to 99 to 88. The bulk of the driving is on 88, where you get to tailgate campers, tour buses, or folks who are generally scared shitless of driving on mountain roads and who are going to go under the speed limit and drive using the "Fuck You" driving rules.

The "Fuck You" driving rules are as follows:

1. Assume a "Fuck You" attitude
2. Drive at or under the speed limit
3. Stay in the passing lane (aka the fast lane) if there is one available
4. If you drive a camper or tour bus, do not use the Turnout lanes to let faster traffic pass
5. Do not under any circumstances change lanes
6. Most importantly, if any vehicle attempts to pass on the right, speed up and do not allow it

Now the "Fuck You" driving rules aren't just for mountain roads. They can be applied on any highway where there are two or more lanes, thus creating an opportunity for the left most lane (in the US anyway) to be used as a passing lane. The most frequent uses of the "Fuck You" driving rules can be found on any stretch of I5 in the state of California.

Sometimes a "Fuck You" driver isn't necessarily attempting to be a "Fuck You" driver. This "Fuck You" driver is usually on their cell phone, chatting away and not paying attention to the other drivers on the road. These drivers assume that staying in the left/passing lane is the safest place for them, as it requires no lane changes and forces the other drivers to pass on the right, enabling them to efficiently use their driving time for talk time as well. But make no mistake, the phone driver is a "Fuck You" driver to the core.

"Fuck You" drivers can also be found on any freeway in Southern California. This type of driver can sometimes be found carrying a gun, so any glancing at a car or its occupants whilst passing on the right is unadvisable.

I'm going to be driving between San Francisco and Los Angeles so much in the next few weeks that it's gonna seem like my goddamn commute. Good thing we're moving to a place where you don't have to use your car very often. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Fuck.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Car trouble, oh yeah

We have 2 cars. One is a newer Passat Wagon. For the kid, ya know. We also have the car that Lily had before we met: a 1990 Honda Civic hatchback. We call it 'Lil Brown. It's worth about 500 bucks, but that wasn't enough money for us to use it as a trade-in for the new car. Much better to have a spare car lying around if you need it. And if you have a bunch of spare cash for repairs lying around that you don't need either.

'Lil Brown has become nothing more than a parking space taker in our neighborhood and a weekly taker of my time when I have to move it for street cleaning every Thursday morning. I have fun making it into a game where I try to park in the same spot in front of our house so we don't have huge trucks and SUVs in that spot preventing the cars speeding down Sanchez Street from seeing us backing out of our driveway.

When we went to the Northwest the other week, I parked 'Lil Brown in the garage, since we drove the Passat up. Upon returning, I saw a spot for 'Lil Brown on the street and put the Passat back in the garage. The next Thursday when I got in to drive 'Lil Brown back in the spot in front of the house after street cleaning, I put the key in the ignition, turned it and CLICK. Click. Turn, click. Oy.

Dead battery. I immediately looked at the headlight switch. On. I wondered if one of the homeless people who regularly breaks into 'Lil Brown turned the switch to spite me. Or if it was one of the neighbors who's tired of me parking in the same spot in front of my house all the time. Lily thinks it was me who left the lights on when I backed out of the garage and forgot the lights were on because it was broad daylight outside. I think it was Gremlins.

So I grab the Passat, and jump start 'Lil Brown and drive her into the regular spot in front of our house. I have a week to get a new battery, but do I? Hell no. I decide that next time I'm gonna push start 'Lil Brown to move it.

I once had 'Lil Brown down in Los Angeles at my old roommate Luke's place in Hollywood and when I was heading out for home the battery was dead. Luckily he lives on a hill, so I just coasted into a pop start and drove until I almost ran out of gas somewhere in the middle of nowhere on I5. I had just enough gas to drive to a station and fuel up, then I push started 'Lil Brown out of there, called LLMB reader #5 and he was gracious enough to drive to meet me at my mechanic's garage near Potrero Hill and pick me up.

Back to present day battery dead story: I'm trying to rock 'Lil Brown out of the little pothole she's in, and I look down the street to see that the garbage collection is happening on the other end of the block. Perfect, I have just enough time to get 'er going and move. I finally get enough momentum to get 'Lil Brown out of the pothole and turn the wheel so we're heading away from the garbage truck. I hop in and shut the door and attempt the pop start. Nuthin. I get out and push again and hop in again and try the pop start again. Nuthin. At this point I'm at the stop sign on 14th & Sanchez.

I look up and notice a black and white police SUV pull up at the intersection on my right. He stares me down as he drives by. Thanks for the help. I look in my rearview and see a green Subaru wagon behind me, so I motion for him to go around. The driver pokes his head out the window and yells "want a push?" I nod yes and reach for the passenger door and unlock it, thinking he's gonna hand push it with me. Then I notice in the rearview that his car is pulling up so close to 'Lil Brown that I realize he's gonna push it with his car. I close my door and we go left through the intersection and he gives me enough momentum that I coast into the right lane and I give him the thumbs up as he passes me on the left. This time I wait long enough to get serious speed going before I try to do the pop start. Nuthin. I try again. Nuthin. I look ahead and realize I'm about to coast into the very busy intersection of 14th, Church and Market.

Then the clouds open and a ray of light shines on an open parking spot to my right. I coast right into it. Whew. I get out of 'Lil Brown and look for the street cleaning sign. Tuesday. And Tuesday was the 4th of July, so NO STREET CLEANING!!! I am so golden. So I have two weeks to get a new battery, but will I? Hell no.